Being A Contractor

I hope everyone enjoyed their Independence Day Holiday. We enjoyed a few days off and got to catch up with friends and family. While coming back from the holiday we had a few appointments and it amazes me still how some people think they are a contractor. I wanted to share this blog with you. So lets begin.

While doing estimates in the Lutz and Land O Lakes, Florida area a few clients had called previous people for estimates. Some were we can start tomorrow. Some told my clients sure I can take that for you and then show up and the ladder does not reach the window. Come to find out these are just jobbers being recommended on social media. This actually makes me mad. We have companies out there that are completly legit and then the ones who operate sneaky.  Who is going to select a contractor that does not have correct references, license, insurances, and most of all proper tools. If saving a few dollars is one thing but is that jobber or handyman going to be there when stuff fails that they did. NO!  They will address it once, maybe then ignore you, run, hide, change their number or worst leave the state. Now you the consumer are stuck with a messed up job, out of money and hurt. a

The reason for this blog is 2 of our clients almost got scammed. We get it save some money but when you have a small bathroom remodel and the handyman or jobber says we can start tomorrow. I would run. This also concerned our client.

So, to all our followers and future clients make sure you ask the proper questions.

  1.  Do you have pictures and references of your work?
  2. How long in the trades?
  3. What is your schedule like?
  4. Do you have insurance and license and can you provide a copy?                            (this stops the handyman rip offs!)
  5. And lastly, what type of warranty do you provide?                                                          (by law 1 year. PHRR we provide 2 years)

So in closing do not get hoods-winked by people that think they are a contractor. Instead go with one that can properly answer the 5 basic questions to any client.

Remember, at Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair, we provide all types of home remodeling, repair, and renovation in the Zephyrhills, Holiday, Dade City and Wesley Chapel Florida areas all the time. For more info, contact us at 352-322-2700 or http://www.pascoremodel.com

Thank You.

Advertisements

Drain Odors

First I want to say yes its been awhile since our last blog. The past few months have been crazy with work, but that’s good. So I promise we will be blogging again as we have before. This weeks blog is about drain odors.  Now you maybe thinking what? So with out further ado lets begin.

Ever walk into a home after coming back from vacation and smell like bad egg smell or musty odor. Ok, now what about if you just getting home from work and smell the same. Now lets add one more scenario to the equation. What about little flies in the drain. So below are going to be some tips and also what maybe causing it. This will apply either on septic or sewer type drains. The only difference is when placing cleaning agents you have to use a septic type cleaner.

Whether you leave for a week or so or you go to work and you come home and smell that drain smell we are all talking about its probably being caused by a few things. If you come home from work and been smelling it by chance you have food in the drain or downstream and partial blockage. This happens and really no alarm. Also this is a sign of what could be a back-up in the drain soon to happen. {Yes, just like our bodies our homes gives us symptoms too} So an easy fix is to get some hot water and citrus type cleaner. If you have a garbage disposal these things always get food under the turntable and will cause the smell too. So run for a good 10 minutes in each drain hot water with the cleaner. If you are on septic an approved type of drain sanitizer as well.

To explain a bit more what happens is that the drain walls collect food particles and stick to the sidewalls of the pipe. So this will produce that smell. Our piping just does that and it needs to be cleaned every so often. Now if you are getting flies, this usually comes from the septic system. Its good to place a drain cleaner approved for septic tanks. Also there maybe small food particles in the trap. Every 6 months its a good idea to remove them and clean them as well. (talking from experience)

Now as far as the smell from vacation cause the house being shut up for a week. Prior to leaving its a good idea to run hot water with a cleaner down the drain for 10 minutes. Then after the last use, some type of citrus type cleaner will help reduce the smell. The cleaner will be in the traps where the actual smell comes from. Then upon returning just flush the drains for a few minutes and poof no more smell.

I hope this little tip helps. And from #PascoRemodel we would like to wish everyone a Happy and Safe 4th of July Holiday. Thank you all again for your support.

 

happy-4th-of-july-2

Contract Planning

Ever wonder about the planning of what goes behind the construction project? Ever wonder why it takes so long at times to get special order items? Well this weeks blog hopefully will shed some light on these questions. So lets begin.

Lets say you want to do them small jobs before you have guests coming into town. Or you like to remodel that bathroom finally. So you have decided to call the local contractor but he is busy. Now you are like ugh. So from there you use a search engine and now you see hundreds of contractors and more search websites for contractors. Where to begin.

Look at the contractor’s websites and reviews. Some people will use Facebook. Some will use the Local Chamber of Commerce, or some will go just pick 3 that are local to them. So you call and let the contractor know the type of work you want done. Hopefully the 3 contractors you called will show up for the estimate. And you start by explaining to them the project at hand. For small jobs they could be a few hours to a couple of days. For the bathroom remodel a bit more. Either way you should get an estimate in about 3-4 days. Some take longer if there is special orders involved or multiple trades. But normally, no more then about 10 days.  Keep in mind you may not be the only client the contractor has proposals for.

So for the small jobs the contractor will prioritize of how they will do the work. If there are parts need to me ordered that will affect the start date. If there is outside work as well, weather needs to be considered. Then for the small jobs the work is started once the contractor has the materials. Sometimes the materials are delayed because the manufacture or supplier is out of stock. When this happens the process just took longer. Now the contractor is at will of the supplier, especially if it is a special order. So once the materials have arrived then the contractor will schedule with their client to perform the work.

But lets take the bathroom remodel. Sounds simple but you normally have 2 or 3 trades involved. If you are redoing a shower our client’s select and purchase the tile. And usually fixtures. Now the tile may take 14 days to get to the supplier. (oh boy) Then we have the plumber. The plumber needs to be notified about what they will be doing and want plenty of time. Again about 14 days. Then lets say the lighting needs to be changed, added or moved. The electrician comes to the project and again they probally like 14 day notice as well. So just from here the project may not start atleast 14 days out. But what if. Seriously the what if factor.

Now lets tell you how Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair will perform these tasks. The initial in home estimate is usually scheduled within 3 days from the initial call. Tad longer if near the weekend. Secondly, for small jobs our planning is simple. If there is materials that need special orders once we receive them a start date is then scheduled. This way we are only at your home once. The worst thing anybody wants is to have the contractor keep coming back. Also this will save you money and time too.

Now lets take the Bathroom Remodel. Normally, the clients want an estimate to see if its in their budget. Yes some contractors will be high and some low. Some may not do the job if it is under a certain amount do to their overhead.  So here is what we do that is tad different. We will figure the contract with the needed materials and trades. We work close with outher speciality trades as we have an understanding what their pricing is. (too a point) This will help the process. Once the estimate is approved from the client. We state. Get all the materials you are providing on site and then call us. Hey, this is your project. So pick the projects you are comfortable with, and not just the economical type. If its gonna take an extra week or so then so be it. Once you have all the materials on-site the contractor should make another visit to make sure all the materials will be proper for the job. (worst thing to happen is to be installing tile and not have another box because there is one box broken.)

Once this process is completed, then the contractor should schedule the other trades and begin the work. Now keep in mind unless the contractor has his own employees nothing is perfect. But normally the schedule should go from start to finish.  So as you can see from the day you start the I want to get stuff fixed around my home to completion it could take about 5 weeks of scheduling. But the wait will be worth the perfection of your new project.

For more information about these projects or others visit us at www.pascoremodel.com or call 352-437-5300. We glady perform projects in Land O Lakes, Holiday, Zephyrhills, and Lutz Florida all the time. We will be more then glad to visit your home anywhere to discuss the project you like to have done.

Thank You and Happy Easter to our followers!

crazy-easter-bunny-cartoon-motorbike-23985315

Attic and Insulation

We are writing this blog about a way to save you money on your heating and cooling bills. When we think of our attics we think about  storage and maybe the unknown area of the home. But the attic is really a place for the house to breathe. So lets begin.

Back in the early days the attics were sealed off. The soffit was plywood and you had small vents to control. The area was just there. Then later on, as building technology came upon us, the attics were becoming a storage area. Some were becoming more additional rooms. But this was not helping with the transfer of heat or cool. In your attic, a lot of builders are using blown insulation instead of the traditional rolled insulation. Now, both will give you the same R value, but which is better.

insulation-diagram_summer1.png

The rolled type of insulation is your traditional kind and you can usually finish the attic with. The blown type to obtain the same R value you will need higher thickness, like 9″ of insulation through out the attic. Additionally the insulation has to stay pliable. Meaning you can not walk on it. Nor store items on top of it. The advantage of the blown type, it is a bit more economical then the rolled. (I prefer the rolled type as to finish off the attic.)

Now, lets talk about the remainder part of the attic. You have a ridge vent, maybe gable vents and your eaves. Its important to make sure that the vents are not clogged. Additionally, if you have a power vent or cyclone make sure the area is not full of debris. The other vents are important to allow the air flow from ground up. And yes it is normal for the attic to be over a 100 degrees in summer but allowing the other vents to be open it will help cool the home. Remember, you do not want to over insulate your home either. This will cause condensation and possible failure of other elements in the home.

Lastly, the insulation you choose, should be environmental friendly and I recommend that a pest deterrent be applied or is added to the insulation. Varmints will try to get in the attic someway and the insulation with the deterrent will help keep them out.

And we at Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair, are starting this new service for Zephyrhills, Holiday, Land O Lakes and Lutz Florida. For more information feel free to call us at 352-437-5300. Or look us up on the web at www.pascoremodel.com  Thank You.

 

Self Closing Hinges

Today’s blog is about self closing hinges. When doing inspections on homes this little part is really almost forgotten. So in today’s blog we will discuss where you need them, why you should have them and what they are. So lets begin.

Self closing hinges are a hinge that is designed to be placed in the door where the original manufacture hinge was installed. There are many variations on the market, but for all intentional purposes you want the one that is approximately 3 1/2″ in height. When installing these type of hinges they normally fit into the existing mortised area. A tad bit of chiseling maybe needed near the edges.  Its extremely important to you the size of the existing hinge. Don’t try to by a 5 inch hinge to replace the 3 1/2″ hinge. It will not work.

So why do we have them? These type of hinges are designed mainly for doors that lead into the garage. The purpose of these is to close the door freely, as to not allow any carbon monoxide into the home.  So for example. Lets say you are coming home with the kids and groceries but have to run back out to get to a meeting. Its cold. So you pull in to greet your spouse at the door. Car is running in the garage. You are unloading back and forth with groceries and kids.  The door is open and you just now allowed the carbon monoxide to go into the home. Oh, you just set the CO2 alarm off too.  With these type of hinges the door should not be propped open. (states in the directions) And the door closing will assist to blocking a lot of the CO2 gas from the engine.

You may see these type of hinges on office areas in the home or a room that you may have valuables or guns.  For example, my home office has these type of hinges.

So in closing, these type of hinges are very economical to install and of course we can as well.  Most of them come in different finishes for example, stainless to black copper.  You can get these at the big box store as they are sold individually. (You need 2) Or we can supply them too from our manufacture. We will be gladly to install these at your home in Land O Lakes, Hudson, Holiday, or Dade City Florida.  For more information about self closing hinges or any other type of repairs, please call us anytime. 352-437-5300 or look us up on the web; www.pascoremodel.com Thank You.

 

fall maintenance

Fall Project Planning

Good Day All! Well now that we are on the eve of 9-11, the storm Hermine and our 1 year anniversary. Lets get back to blogging. As you may had experienced with the tropical storm, some projects may need more attention now. September is the best month to start your project planning for the fall. A lot happens with weather and the seasons changing. So we wanted to share some helpful tips with you to keep in mind that the holiday season is going to be knocking on our back door. So lets begin.

The exterior of the home and yard is a great place to start. Look on the roof for debris and branches. Check your gutters as well. In the next few months we in the Florida area will still experience more storms. Drainage systems must be cleared all the time. While checking around the home, trim back the bushes and shrubbery. A great project may take about 18 inches of width around the stone and place stone as again to assist with drainage away from the home. And if you have a fence, now is the good time to check your fence posts and gates. During heavy rain and wind  these may become out of align.

Now for the interior. These items on any fall maintenance and project planning are always over looked. So we thought we would share. To start, check your all your screening. This includes your lanai or screen porch. Get these repaired as we are entering the fall and will be using more fresh air then a/c. Then clean all your window tracks of debris. During the storm you may had notice some moisture intrusion. This maybe why. Now lets take a look at your bathrooms and kitchen. Check all your caulking and grout. If the caulk does not look fresh, now is a great time to redo it. Ask your self, when is the last time your grout was sealed. Is the grout color turned or black. Again, this maybe a great time to redo this as well.  Lastly, as the cooler temperatures are among us. This is a great time for us to think about up grading insulation in the attic. And checking the drywall for any water stains that may have occurred.

So this may seem alot as far as what to do on your home. But it really is not. Make a list of items that you may see that need attention. If you a bit of help. Give us a call. We will be more then glad to assist you in any manner we can. From Dade City to Holiday and from Hudson to Wesley Chapel Florida we are here for you. 352-437-5300 or www.pascoremodel.com

 

Happy Anniversary

Good Day Everyone. This weeks blog is gonna be a short one. We at #pascoremodel want to share some updates about our company and some future plans. Next week we will have an informative blog about interior framing.

It has been 1 year since we began. We originally started in Dade City Florida and then moved to Land O Lakes, Florida. Now being in Land O Lakes we can service all of Pasco County and Pinellas County. Which brings me to the newest update. We have submitted our application for Pinellas County for reciprocity for our license.  Additionally, we are adding new employees as well.

Lastly, I wanted to share that we are a proud member of the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce. As we feel this helps to give back to the community. And in closing we are giving anybody that reads our blog 10% off if you sign a contract on any of our services before 14 September. Call our office to find out more details. 352-437-5300.

Thank You Again For Your Support and Trust and looking forward to many years providing our services to you and your family.

Gutters

Sunday’s blog is about gutters. It seams that down here a lot of homes do not have gutters installed or are installed later. Gutters are the number one way to stop land erosion, flooding, and inconvenience. Additionally an improper gutter system is more defective then none at all. So lets begin about this theory of transferring rain water to a different location.

The main purpose of gutters is to direct the rain water off the roof and discharge to an area away from the foundation. This may sound simple. But if you have a gutter system installed and it is not the appropriate type you are wasting your money. For a typical residential home, a lot of gutters are 5 or 6 inch. The 6 inch gutter is definitely ideal for areas that get some rain but not a lot. 5 inch gutter I would recommend if you live Southern California or Arizona where the rain is very small amount. Living along the east coast like Florida, Maryland, Delaware there is a lot of precipitation that gets in the gutter. In certain states they work constantly from rain to snow. Here in Land O Lakes Florida the rain season constantly works the gutter. So you may ask what is the answer. Its easy.

If you have a gutter system installed it has to contour with the roof. For example you should not install a 5″ gutter on a church roof that is 12-12 pitch. Totally defeats the purpose because of the roof pitch. The gutters are over loaded. But for a single family home like in Clearwater Florida a 6 inch gutter may work for a single family home with a small pitch. Then you have the down spouts to discharge the water. Again, you do not want water going back toward the foundation. Why? Erosion, leaks, issues, and just a plain headache.

The best way to discharge water off the roof is to have the rain water discharge away from the property. Sounds easy but you do not want the rain water discharging in front the garage or your side entrance. Additionally, you can have a #frenchdrain installed as well for your gutter systems. So lets think about this. Do you want to have a system that does not work properly but say we have gutters. NO. If the pitch of the roof in #Florida is above 4-12 pitch then you need at least a 6 inch gutter. If not the water when it rains down here will defeat the purpose. A lot of manufactures will use a 7 inch gutter with a leaf guard so you do not need to clean anymore. This is good, but check other manufactures too.

Make sure if you want to do the investment of gutters they are seamless and check the warranty. Also ask about the gutter covers. Trust me. For more information check our website at; www.pascoremodel.com or call us anytime at 352-437-5300

Differences Between Small Jobs & Handyman

I wanted to take this time to share the difference between what a contractor does when performing small jobs and the local handyman. There is a big difference. Now I am not taking anything away from people who perform odd or small jobs. They may have the experience or are retired. However, there are ones out there that are just not informed or trained properly. The blog this week will inform you the difference and what to ask when selecting someone to do a small job. So lets begin.

We get calls all the time to perform small jobs for clients. Just today we completed a variety of tasks for a property owner who is renting a small town home in Land O Lakes, Florida. The jobs were small and we itemized the billing so the owner knew what he was be billed for. At the end of the day, the renter stated that one bedroom door was not closing properly.  On the initial walk thru it was never mentioned about this. So in attempt to fix the door, we found that the door is a 32″ door and not a 30″ door which would had properly fit the frame. This is an example of a person not knowing the proper way to install doors. Also very un-professional for everybody.  We installed the new door and everything was fine. On something like this contract, the jobs were small and were done correctly. We made sure the renter was satisfied and if they had any questions. After our job is complete we warranty that contract for 2 years, not 1 year as required.  And yes  if there is issues, then we make sure its taken care of. Sometimes hardware fails. Sometimes humidity will play factors and we will have to plan the door down from winter to summer. No charge to the client.

Now lets talk about the local guy. Biggest question is to ask is the experience.. Like I said before, some are near retirement and just want some small jobs to keep busy. That is fine. But in the example above, would he had been able to install the door properly? Or would he cut about an inch off each side and try to make it fit. Another thing to ask people is license and insurance. And lastly, the local guy may not have a warranty. Will he come back if the caulk shrinks up on the tub? If the door swells will he plan it down that 1/16″ if need be?

So in closing, there are handyman that do small jobs but may not be properly experienced or reliable for that job. And there is contractors that do small jobs for clients and will stand by their work. So next time you are looking to hire someone, ask them. After all, the in home estimate is like a short interview. Both parties want to be a good fit for each other. We provide these type of services and others in Dade City, Wesley Chapel, Bayonet Point and Holiday Florida all the time. Feel free to call us at 352-437-5300 or look us up on the web; http://www.pascoremodel.com  Thank You.

Framing

I wanted to write this blog today about framing. When you look at structures the back bone of the structure is the framing. Whether its metal or wood. With out it you don’t have interior walls and the drywall is not going up. So lets talk about the good and bad jobs of framing.

When you are framing walls, they are usually 16 or 24 inches on center. Floor joists are normally 16 inches on center but can vary from 12 to 24 inches depending the application. And yes your roof trusses are 24 inches on center. Ok that is the basics that you learn as a carpenter the first day on the job.  But over time you learn more and more. I have been doing framing for over 20 years and I like to say I am still learning. But seriously. When a carpenter is framing out for interior walls, structural membranes or just furring strips for a room that is converted to a family room from the 3 season room. The framing membranes have to be straight, dry, not cracked or warped and also have to hold the weight of the item you are placing on the wall. Which means it has to be self supporting or attached with fasteners.

Alot of people think that they can take wood and put it up and call it framed. Not true. The true carpenter will know what to use and how to use certain hardware and how to use even the bad wood for certain items.  Now there is a difference from the true carpenter to just a novice. The novice may not take in consideration the extra prep work of framing the walls. Additionally, as odd as it may seem, using a level for framing walls is not correct. Plumb bobs and tape measure or laser levels.  Lastly, when a consumer wants something framed, they should asked have you done this type of work before. Framing a deck, stairs, or just a small wall. Also framing a wall with wood will not be perfectly level. Close but not perfect. The reason is because the wood will always be a 1/16″ different from each. Check it. The nominal measurement for a 2×4 is 1 5/8 x 3 5/8 but will vary.

So in closing, when framing out an area or hiring someone the quality control on the project of selecting the best framing members is essential. Installing them correctly is also essential because of one reason. With out them being plumb the drywall will not attach right and you will see imperfections.  And also the framers will take pride in building what you want correctly the first time.

We perform framing of all types throughout Pasco and Pinellas County. From Clearwater to Zephyrhills, from Hudson to Wesley Chapel. For more information, call us at 352-437-5300 or visit our website; www.pascoremodel.com